“Women Who Inspire me” – Veda’s mom Kavita Baluni

Let me tell you this that she is is the reason why I started this series of “Women Who Inspire me” because from the day 1 of me following her on Instagram I was completely speechless with all that she does for Veda. Moreover the kind of information that she shares with the world regarding down syndrome and create much-needed awareness among people across the globe. She is the ultimate definition of “SuperMom”. I am overwhelmed that she had given me the chance to feature her on my blog and be a part of this series. Trust me when I say this that there is so much to learn from her, that when I became a mother I would like to raise my child near to what she does.. Keep reading to know more who Veda is and why her mom is a supermom.

1. Tells me something about you. Your life, career, family etc before you became Veda’s mom.

Myself Kavita, I am 29 years old. I have done my studies in business management. Afterwards, for the first few years, I worked as an HR trainee and recruiter. Having a background of an orthodox Indian family, I got married at an early age of 22 to Himanshu because of my father’s transferrable job I have spent my early life in different parts of India. I always wanted to teach children so I joined a preschool after marriage for a year and then we moved to the USA.

2. How did you start the idea of sharing Veda’s story? Any story you want to mention regarding the same.

Before Veda came home I already had my personal account and so I started sharing the pictures of Veda in the same account. As there ware no videos of Indian babies with Down Syndrome, I started a Youtube channel first. I started putting Veda’s video so that people can see and relate to what it actually means upbringing a child with Down syndrome.
A few weeks later I started getting messages on how helpful my videos were and how my the channel is helping people change their perspective towards their children.
Secondly, there was no account on Instagram talking about adoption openly, so I started Veda’s Instagram account to show our journey. I believe people relate more to anything when they see it. People should know what adoption looks like in real life, it’s just another way to have a family.

3. What are your plans next?

Along with Veda’s Social media handle on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, I have started another initiative, a page to share the stories of Indians who are different or have different needs and this way showing people how being different is okay! As I am working in parallel on Veda’s Occupational therapy and Speech therapy at home, I already feel short of time every day as it passes by, that’s why I don’t have any plans as such but yeah working on stories for “The Beauty Of Being Different” and early learning for Veda are my primary concerns.

4. What lead you into this? 

I never wanted to have biological children, the reason being that I don’t believe it’s important to be biologically related to love and nurture someone. Moreover, there are a lot many kids in orphanages who need a family desperately, why not bring them home, provide them with a secure environment full of care and love to groom better. Sadly I never found anyone good and matured enough to share this thought with for a long time. I didn’t have a great past as I was not acceptable to my parents the way I was from childhood and whatever I did was never enough. Along with the unaffectionate behaviour I was bullied for weight, looks, the way I walk, the way I talk and even more for my thoughts. So that has aggravated my perception towards BIOLOGY, it doesn’t define love and affection. On my very first meeting with my husband, I was somehow pretty sure that my life is going to change. He has been an open-minded person who believes in equality and women empowerment, so I shared my thoughts about adoption and life with him while we were in our courtship period. He was really positive about it and so we decided that we will go for adoption whenever we decide to expand our family. Although having a baby with Down Syndrome was never a plan, but we came across word “Down Syndrome’ when we’re in the USA and from there it all began, knowing what it is and getting closer to people through videos and social media who have kids with Down Syndrome. Finally, we decided to adopt a girl with Down Syndrome and landed back to India for the same as we couldn’t do the same residing in the USA.

5. What is your take on what you do currently? 

Veda changed my perspective towards special needs, adoption, relations and everything. I try to create awareness on and around adoption as it’s still a stigma in our country. More than just a stigma, people are unaware of it and don’t even want to learn. It’s important to talk about it, our kids deserve the same respect as any other kid. Adoption is just a process of having a family not an identity of kids. I can’t even tell you the jokes people crack on adoption. It’s disheartening !!
If given a choice nobody would like to be an orphan or get abandoned. It’s just a situation and it can happen to anyone. It is a high time people should start being sensitive towards this.

6. Mention some interesting facts that drove you into this and how has been your journey so far

In one word, Tough.
Not adoption but people around you make sure that you do suffer alone, at least in my case. We never asked for any family support, we told them about adoption only when we met Veda, as we do believe it’s a mutual decision of a couple when and how to have kids. Five years after marriage we adopted Veda, by then people around us already made the decision that we are infertile and so we chose adoption. For five years, I was traumatized by society and family equally for having a baby. Every other day I was asked whether I am pregnant or not and the reason if that’s not the case. Me, my fallopian tubes, my fertility were prime “topics” of discussion in my whole family. That’s the major reason why I chose not to tell them what I think or believe. Post-adoption, nobody came to meet my girl. Many family members also tried to convince me to lie about her situation that she is a typical(normal) child and don’t even mention Down Syndrome but till then we were all around in media. Some even lied explaining to people that she’s my biological child and I had a complicated delivery, which led to her condition. So I have to stop visiting my relatives and people who weren’t respectful towards my girl. People even shamed my baby for wearing glasses. Our every visit to public place ends on weird discussions or stares. When confronted people seem to be amazed as they find staring and whispering perfectly fine. Not only this in my more than 2 years journey with Veda, but I have also observed that people generally sideline you and label you with “God” or “angels” and there is no way you can share your issues or express your problems as you have been already labelled. This is the dark and sad reality of our society.

7. Future plans?

As of today, Veda is 3 Years old, we are doing unschooling & for her future, we have plans to homeschool her. The reason is not Veda being a kid with different needs but the fact that our education system is flawed at a lot many levels. We do believe that in the interest of our kid Homeschool/Unschooling is best suited.

8. How do you balance your work-life and family life in general? (The other Instagram page that you started)

I must say it’s not easy and many a time I do fall short of time. It’s hectic to manage to raise a toddler, doing therapies and along with that managing various social media accounts, not to mention replying to intermittent queries of people about adoption and Down Syndrome. But the urge to spreading the awareness around Adoption and Down Syndrome keeps me motivated. As Veda do have medical issues and there are intellectual and physical delays (although we do not believe in them), so daily routine does take a toll on me a lot many times. But a calm co-operative kid and a helpful better half have been incredibly supportive. Himanshu is a very involved father and amazing husband, who shares a good load and do participate equally in parenting, all of this do provide a good breathing space most of the times.

9. Any advice to women about life?

Many women do contact me, how much they want to go ahead with adoption but couldn’t do it due to very less or no support from family and husband. I would like to suggest to the upcoming generation of girls to talk through with you would be better half about your beliefs and plans before getting into a relationship. It is really important to have like-minded views specially on important aspects of life and beliefs. Personally, it took me 27 years to love myself. To accept myself, to understand that I am enough. It was a long journey of acceptance, pain and grief. And if you are someone who went through bullying or shaming (physical, mental), take my words, it wasn’t your fault. You are enough in every manner.

Also please give me Your social media links for my readers.

Instagraminstagram.com /extrachromieveda



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